Watch the weather from your desk­top

We’re all ama­teur me­te­o­rol­o­gists – but with the right re­sources, you can do a much bet­ter job at pre­dict­ing rain

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How lo­cal is your weather fore­cast? Head to some­thing like the BBC web­site, and you’ll be able to drill down to your city, or per­haps a spe­cific re­gion of your city. But what if you could tri­an­gu­late your up­com­ing con­di­tions based on your pre­cise lo­ca­tion? While you could set up your own weather sta­tion and make your own mind up, there are ser­vices out there which of­fer hy­per-lo­cal fore­casts for free.

We’d ab­so­lutely rec­om­mend mak­ing Dark Sky (www. dark­sky.net) your first port of call. It fea­tures a host of maps, from pre­cip­i­ta­tion radar (with handy ar­rows to show which way those storms are trav­el­ling) and tem­per­a­ture all the way to a rather odd emoji map which shows how you’ll prob­a­bly feel if you ven­ture out­side. There’s also hour-by­hour fore­cast­ing, and Dark Sky’s cute ‘Time Ma­chine’ fea­ture, which lets you re­search his­tor­i­cal data or ex­plore its pre­dic­tions for the fu­ture.

For a bet­ter weather radar, with live up­dates and a zoomable map, you could head to www.metcheck.com or the ex­cel­lent www.ac­cuweather.com, both of which also help you track thun­der­storms and light­ning strikes. The most ac­cu­rate lo­cal weather in­for­ma­tion, though, is found at www.weatherun­der­ground. com. It’s a ser­vice which is es­sen­tially fed by per­sonal weather sta­tions the world over. Peo­ple with their own gauges send that in­for­ma­tion back to WU – en­ter your lo­ca­tion, and it’ll link you to the ab­so­lute clos­est weather sta­tion to you. Be sure to try the ‘Wun­dermap’ fea­ture, which en­ables you to layer all the in­for­ma­tion you need on a sin­gle map.

And now win­ter’s here, how will you know where it’s snow­ing? You ask Twit­ter, of course. Or head to www.uk­snowmap. com, which cat­a­logues ev­ery tweet that uses the #uk­snow tag, giv­ing you in­stant feed­back from peo­ple gaw­ping out of their win­dows the coun­try over.

And now win­ter’s here, how will you know where it’s snow­ing?

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